You’re never going to go through life without having conflict. Plenty of people will let you down. Plenty of people will try to come at you. In my experience, as you get older, you get better at not taking things to heart.
It’s disappointing when people don’t act how you’d hoped they would. You see, everyone’s got their own agenda. Humans are inherently selfish. Often people won’t even realise they are in the wrong because they’re thinking solely about their feelings. Tunnel vision so to speak.
If you’re an overly sensitive person like me, you may absorb their energy and cruel words like a sponge. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Someone can only really hurt you if you allow them to.
I have been through the most challenging times in the past few years. To hell and back. And you know what tough times do to you? They make you tougher. They make you give less of a f*** about other people who aren’t worth caring about.
Below I’ve put together some tips based on my experiences over the years. I’ve done this for you but also for myself so that I don’t forget how to continue to protect myself.
Here’s how to deal with difficult conversations and people who try to bring you down…
Don’t expect people to change
It is SUCH a waste of energy spending your life hoping people will change. Hoping one day they might wake up and realise what a dick they are, knock on your door and beg for forgiveness. In 99% of cases, it’s NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. You can’t change other people, but thankfully, you can change how you react to them. You can choose whether that person is allowed to penetrate your heart and hurt it. Once you realise this, it’s really empowering.
Look out for number one
Remember what’s really important. YOU. You only get one life, so don’t waste it worrying about what other people do and say. Just focus on yourself. Look after yourself. Have your own back. When people take aim at you, back yourself. Stick to your morals and values and that’s all that matters. If you’ve done the right thing, you can keep your head held high.
Try and understand where other people are coming from
OK, so I did just say to back yourself. But it’s also important to try and imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes. By doing this, you might understand their point of view a little better and why they might be feeling a certain way about things. You don’t have to agree with them, but you might have a little more sympathy for their situation. Think, if I was in their position, how would I feel?
Stay true to yourself
Don’t let someone talk you down. Remember what you stand for. It’s easy to back down when someone is coming at you but sometimes you just have to stand your ground and say what you feel. Otherwise, you’ll come away from the conversation feeling like you caved and didn’t speak your mind. Stick to your values and explain why you feel a certain way.
Putting on your invisible cloak of protection
If a conversation is going down a slippery slope, it’s time to put your cloak of protection on. Imagine literally wrapping a big cloak around yourself, and when you have it on, other people’s words can’t hurt you. It makes you feel so much stronger. Other people’s cruel words can’t penetrate your armour.
People are usually disappointing
When you think about it, there’s only a handful of people you can rely on. Maybe even one or two. Whether that’s friends or family. Sometimes it’s helpful to kind of expect people to not behave as you’d like them to. Then be pleasantly surprised when they do something nice or supportive. As I mentioned earlier, people are selfish. They may care deeply about your problems, but when it comes down to it, they will put their needs first, often without even realising it.
Accept people for their flaws, or let them go
No one is perfect. Stop searching for the perfect friend who won’t put a foot wrong. We are all human and we mess up. You’ve probably messed up yourself a few times. Everyone has flaws, you just need to decide if they are flaws you can handle. If one friend is great fun but can be a little standoffish at times, you just need to figure out if you can accept this. And if they act in a certain way, the chances are they will keep doing it. Don’t sit around waiting for people to change, because most of the time, they probably won’t.
Spend time with those who lift you up instead
This is probably the most important part of this article. If you’ve got people in your life who constantly upset you, let you down or bring a really negative energy then consider if they are worth having around. Gravitate towards people who make you feel good. People who support you and build you up instead of break you down. As hard as it is to end a friendship or create distance between yourself and a family member, sometimes it is necessary for self-preservation.